STEP Handover Ceremony at Uganda Martyrs University
Ms Kochendörfer (first right from middle) in group photo at STEP handover ceremony
(© German Embassy Kampala)
On 2nd September, Charge d’affaires a.i. Petra Kochendörfer, visited Uganda Martyrs University for the final Handover Ceremony of the Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP).
In order to build up the entrepreneurial expertise of motivated, innovation-driven, young students, STEP was developed jointly by scientists of the Makerere University Business School in Kampala and Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany). Through this program, more than 500 students of Uganda Martyrs University – the partner university of the program – have acquired the entrepreneurial skills and mind-set to actively participate in the sustainable development of the Ugandan society.
The roots of this successful cooperation go back to 2008, when the German Commission for UNESCO with support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany launched a partnership program with African National Commissions for UNESCO. The objective of the partnership program was to strengthen African National Commissions for UNESCO with targeted capacity building and cooperation projects in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication/information – the four fields of action of UNESCO and equally four areas which build the foundation of a strong and prosperous society. Within this context, the two National Commissions for UNESCO of Germany and of Uganda established a very strong and fruitful partnership working on topics such as democracy, human rights, and education.
STEP provides students in their last year of university with the knowledge and skills to become entrepreneurs and an attractive opportunity of self-employment. Young entrepreneurs are better prepared to shaping their own destiny – and they produce additional jobs in new companies, tackling youth unemployment from a different angle. At the same time, STEP is not merely any other entrepreneurship training. STEP combines theoretical classes, such as business administration and entrepreneurship, with practical, real life-experience. Students get the opportunity to start-up a real business during the training – and most of them are remarkably innovative and successful. This action-oriented process ensures that the trainees develop confidence in their entrepreneurial skills – and this might be a great motor for shaping the future of Uganda. The training leads to more sustained entrepreneurial action. STEP thus creates real entrepreneurs who generate more new businesses, more revenue, and create more jobs.
In her speech, Ms Kochendörfer wished the students all the best for their future entrepreneurial activities and expressed her sincere appreciations to the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO for their great commitment to this project and to BASF Foundation for their constant support of this valuable venture. Enlarge image Kim Bischoff of Leuphana University symbolically "handing over" STEP to UMU (© German Embassy Kampala) Now STEP is going to be integrated into the curriculum of the Uganda Martyrs University's Faculty of Business Administration and Management from the academic year 2015/2016 onwards. Ms Kochendörfer therefore appreciated the Vice Chancellor of UMU, who has made much of this possible.